Fight or flight
In nature animals react in different ways when an adrenalin rush kicks in.
While some creatures come out all teeth and claws, others simply roll up into a ball hoping whatever-it-is will go away.
Those who face up and fight soon sort out the real threat from the phoney. Faced with the phoney the fighters pay for their reaction with some expended energy and perhaps a little loss of face.
The real danger faces those who, in the face of the juggernaut, hedgehog-like simply roll up into a ball and wait for the danger to pass.
It is no overreaction to liken this to the situation to that is facing optics. So far we have seen internet sellers enter the market in a blaze of publicity and contact lens purveyors offering cost-price contact lenses over the internet. There is the threat that Next Directory is planning to offer prescription eyewear to its 2 million customers, while Tesco's plans for how it will market contact lenses through its 900 stores are still emerging.
It is surely no coincidence that the most robust actions to be taken have come from the big players in the high street, be they commercially-focused or aimed at the legality and regulatory nature of what the new entrants are planning.
optician will continue to inform its readers about new entrants, new methods of optical retailing and urges its readers to take note.
Those practices that roll into a ball and hope the deregulation juggernaut will pass them by run the risk of ending up as optical market roadkill.
Recent research conducted by optician for the College of Optometrists clearly shows how the public values the profession and it is up to everyone within the profession to press that point to the public.
The day eyewear is sold simply on price will be a sad one for the profession and ultimately its patients.